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Word Count: 2,126
Before tackling the digital aspect of data storage it is essential to discuss the basic legal principles outside of digital constraints The main statute for this is the Data Protection Act DPA of 1988 There are essentially 8 basic principles which stipulate how information described as personal should be managed This essay will only observe those principles referred to in the question The first of which is security for which the Act dictates that all personal data must be kept under tight controls and protected from unauthorized access As such technical measures such as password encryption and backup contingencies are strongly advised Furthermore adopting security policies and restricting staff access to sensitive data is a DPA pre-requisite The DPA also tackles the issue of privacy referring to the handling of sensitive or personal data This relates to the context of the employeeemployer relationship Thus the data controller ie employer has to take particular care when handling personal data to ensure it does not discriminate on the grounds of race gender age or disability Similarly the processing of staff medical records would also be considered sensitive and therefore required under the Act to be handled by a health professional or one working under an equivalent duty of confidence ie occupational doctor The disclosure of information to third parties is also a major principle in the Act under what is termed lawful processing Accordingly the forwarding of personal data to third parties must only take place with the prior approval of the original data subject Thus a banking corporation may not forward their client details to third parties for marketing purposes without ones consent Similarly recipients of such information must be certain they have the approval of the data subject before making use of the information for marketing or any other purpose In theory these principles were introduced to serve as a mutual benefit to both employee and employer Indeed Sue Weeks
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